14 days to deadline but only 22,000 autos have re-calibrated meters
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WITH just 14 days left for deadline of recalibration of autorickshaw meters, the Regional Transport Office (RTO) has warned that no extension will be given to drivers and action will be initiated against them. After an extension in November, only 22,000 drivers have completed re-calibration.
"This is a very poor number and with just two weeks left, we expect a last-minute rush. Hence, we have issued orders that the remaining auto drivers should get the re-calibration done at the earliest,'' said Deputy RTO Anil Waliv.
After a meeting chaired by Regional Transport Authority chairman and Pune district collector Vikas Deshmukh, auto fares were increased from October 15. As per the revised structure, the minimum fare was Rs 17 for the first stage — the distance for which has been increased from one to 1.5 km. For every subsequent km, Rs 11.65 is charged — an increase of Rs 1.65 — and this had to be re-calibrated.
There are a total 49,859 autos in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad areas — 44,474 rickshaws are from Pune city, while 5, 385 from PCMC area. While in Pune, 20,000 rickshaws have re-calibrated their meters, in the PCMC areas only 2,000 have done so, said an RTO official.
The RTO clearly said that they would not give any extension for re-calibration and those failing to comply till the deadline will have to face penalty and fine. Waliv said erring drivers would have to pay Rs 2,100 fine if they are caught without re-calibrated meters and their documents will be seized.
"We had given license to 32 centres for meter checking, and three testing agencies — MIT, St Josephs and COEP — were allocated for the same,'' said the official.
The previous deadline was November 30 but it was extended due to the poor percentage of re-calibrated meters.